They say time is money and sales. So, let’s get right into these five qualities of top performing sales reps. Stick with me until the end, because I’m going to share the number one quality that I’ve observed from top performing sales reps.
Quality #1: Top performing salespeople always carry a high degree of self-worth
If you don’t believe in yourself, then it’s very hard for you to actually be able to effectively close with a potential prospect. The best salespeople have a great sense as to who they are and what they stand for. And that translates when they’re communicating the value of the product or service that they’re pitching.
There is rarely an ounce of doubt that they can perform at a high level. To them, success is inevitable in which it’s a matter of when, as opposed to whether or not they’re going to hit it. This confidence carries over as to how they communicate with customers, listen to their problems and solve the specific problems.
Quality #2: Top performing salespeople always inclined to persevere.
The reality is that it typically takes seven to eight touchpoints in order to get a prospect to respond to you. The top performing salespeople don’t necessarily view that first, no, as a final answer. And instead, just as a response of now is not the right time. They remain unfiltered by soft rejections and in turn focus more on providing additional value to the prospect so that they can compel that prospect to start communicating again with them.
Many times I’ve trained sales reps that have told me, “Will, this prospect just responded to an email that I sent over a year ago, and we immediately closed the deal.” The reason why these deals happen is because the sales rep continue to provide value to the prospect over time. And so, when the prospect was ready to buy and the timing was right, they immediately thought of our brand four solving their problem. So as a result, they gave the sales person a call and gave us their business.
Quality #3: Top performing sales reps are always super analytical when it comes to looking at their data.
The top closers always know numbers like what their close rate is, how many meetings it takes for them to close a deal, as well as how many prospects they need to actually be prospecting in order to refill their pipeline.
By knowing these metrics, they treat sales more like a science, and it’s this obsessiveness about every single stage of the pipeline in terms of the three stages of awareness, consideration, and decision that the top performing salespeople are always able to deliver on their final number.
Something I noticed when I was managing sales reps, was that almost every single person that works hard in sales is capable of having a good month. However, the difference between the good sales reps and the stellar sales reps really came down to their ability to know their numbers. The good sales reps would take a good month and think to themselves, “Hey, I just had a really good month” and they’d go take their commission and enjoy their time. Whereas on the other side of the spectrum, the stellar sales reps were always looking towards their next month as opposed to their current month.
That way they knew that if this month was a good month, then there was nothing stopping them from working hard and continuing that streak into the next month. Knowing key performance indicators or KPIs for your close rate, as well as your open rate is vital when it comes to ensuring that your pipeline never runs dry.
Quality #4: Top performing salespeople value listening and empathy over speaking.
You can be the most charismatic salesperson in the world and still not close all that many deals. And the reason why is because you’re not actually listening to the needs of your prospect.
The best salespeople that I’ve ever trained are always listening in on the finer details that the prospect is mentioning. The prospect might share something and the typical sales rep would immediately start launching into the feature or benefit that your product or service can solve for them.
However, a top performing salesperson will actually take a step back, pause and ask a follow up question to that initial response that the prospect gave. The reason why is because the top performing sales person understands that if they simply ask a few more, why questions they’ll dig even deeper down into the need of the prospect. And as a result, open up and even bigger sales opportunity.
Top performing sales reps are always willing to take the backseat in the car and let the prospect actually drive. They seek to actually understand as opposed to simply share everything they learned in training about the product or service that they’re selling.
Quality #5: Top performing sales reps always embrace the concept of Kaizen.
Kaizen is the Japanese principle of continuous improvement. It’s getting better 1% every single day, whenever I’ve coached good and great salespeople, the great salespeople are always the ones that are very self-critical as to how they did that particular day.
They’re looking at not only the day, but they’re looking at the week, the months, the years, et cetera. And the reality is that sales is always rapidly evolving. One year, you’re going to have perfect product market fit and sales is going to be super easy. Whereas the next year you’re going to have a situation in which your product is broken, but you still have to sell.
Whatever the case may be, the top performing sales reps are always able to figure out how to adapt their approach to make the sale today. Oftentimes these top reps do this through a variety of ways. One way is simply by following a lot of influencers on LinkedIn that are constantly posting about sales. Another way is by listening to audio books and their commutes, as well as during their afternoon or morning workouts. They might also regularly be reading sales literature, or networking with others in the profession to learn more about the craft.
Whatever the case may be, the actions that most of these top sales reps are always taking is they are collecting as much information as possible, absorbing it and from there adapting their style and applying that feedback into their next sales conversation. They understand that what got them to be a top performing rep today is not going to keep them there next year. And so, they’re always looking ahead to ensure they’re ahead of the game.
There are two things I want you to remember from this article:
- The first one is rest at the end, not in the middle. This is a quote from Kobe Brian’s high school English teacher. And it’s something that always has resonated for me when it comes to thinking about sales. In sales, you have to keep going and keep improving at your craft.
- The second big takeaway is that you have to know yourself and your customer. By having a high understanding of yourself, your prospect, as well as your product, sales becomes much more natural for you.
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